Current Premier League Champion Liverpool FC is the latest soccer team to join blockchain collectibles startup Sorare. The partnership with Liverpool alongside previous licensing deals with PSG, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus, makes Sorare the first network of its kind to offer cards from Europe’s top five league Champions.
Sorare offers tradable cards for professional soccer players enabling fans to play fantasy football games by using the cards to participate in the platform’s weekly competitions. Users purchase tokenized cards of players of various teams to build their own squad, and depending on how the football players perform in real life, they may receive rewards in more trading cards or cryptocurrency ETH. The platform operates on the Ethereum blockchain and recently partnered with browser Opera and crypto app Ramp to make the consumer experience more enjoyable to “non-native crypto enthusiasts”.
Sorare aims to offer collectibles from the top 20 football leagues worldwide. The startup currently has licensing deals with 107 teams from 15 different leagues, but only Korea’s K-league and Japan’s J-league have all their teams on the network. Furthermore, from the 98 teams in Europe’s top 5 leagues, Sorare currently has partnerships with 18.
Last July, the blockchain collectibles platform received €3.5 million ( $4.32 million) in seed funding. According to analytics site NonFungible, the Sorare platform reached cumulative sales of approximately $7 million by the end of 2020, although not all revenue went to Sorare as some trading occurred between users. Furthermore, the average price of a tradable card was almost $70, and there were over 100 thousand transactions for Sorare cards.
Blockchain collectibles have become increasingly popular among football organizations. It increases fan engagement worldwide, and especially due to the pandemic and the lack of physical interaction between supporters and teams, tradable cards and other similar offers keep fans interested in the games. As such, multiple football teams have licensing deals with various platforms. For example, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid also have a partnership with Sorare’s competitor Fantastec.
Meanwhile, other blockchain enterprises are entering the football industry. Animoca, for example, recently closed its first football deal with Manchester City’s City Group.